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March 2002

Plastic spiral binding is the only mechanical binding method that can actually be installed by hand, points out Anna Massey, sales and marketing manager for Gateway Bookbinding Systems of Pembina, ND. This is an example of how simplistic, yet effective, the method is.

Simplicity Personified

"Obviously (hand binding) is not an option for the bindery or in-plant operation, but it does exemplify the simplicity of the process," she explains. "Once the holes are punched in the book, the plastic spiral is wound through the holes, with the ends needing a bend to keep from unwinding. It is a two-step process, the first being to punch the holes and the second to insert the coil--irregardless of whose equipment one is using."

Being a simple process has its advantages, especially in today's marketplace. Printers and trade binderies want a machine that is user-friendly, Massey continues, and plastic coil binding is a good fit for these needs.

"They want equipment that even an untrained employee can operate easily and be productive," she contends. "They also want a machine that can handle every possible book thickness that they might do."

PRINT 01 saw the unveiling of Gateway's Plastikoil Concept III for the manufacturing and automated insertion of plastic spiral binding. The Plastikoil Concept III interlines the Plastikoil New Concept Former with the PBS 3000 Auto Coil Inserter. Plastic spiral binding is formed in the diameter and length needed, then immediately conveyed into position on the PBS 3000 Auto Inserter, with the operator simply activating the foot pedal to complete the coil insertion into the book with a simultaneous cut and bend of both coil ends.

Intended for a trade finisher or larger in-house bindery, the Plastikoil Concept III is designed to accommodate larger volume runs. Productivity has been rated as high as 800 books per hour.

"Double-O wire and plastic coil binding machines are easy to set up and require very little training," stresses Ann Marie Boggio, director of marketing at Spiral Binding Co. in Totowa, NJ. "Wire binding machines are the best choice for traditional binding applications, and plastic coil binding equipment is the best choice when easy-to-use, lay-flat documents are required."

Spiral Binding offers a wide range of plastic coil and wire binding equipment. Both types of machines can bind up to a large capacity (11/4? for wire, 2? for coil), Boggio reveals.

According to Christian Webel, product manager, GBC document finishing equipment, based in Buffalo Grove, IL, the variety of visually stimulating binding opportunities gives plastic coil an advantage over other methods.

"For plastic coil specifically, there are several colors to choose from to coordinate and complement the covers being used," she says. "This creates a very professional look."

Plastic Coil Offering

The GBC DigiColor plastic coil inserter binds up to 400 books per hour and documents up to 14x12? using 4:1 coils from 8mm to 33mm. Setup is tool-free and changeovers are reported to be fast. A LCD control panel directs the operator.

Also from GBC, the CC2700 electronically winds coil elements from 6mm to 33mm to any pitch into pre-punched documents. Hand crimpers complete the process by cutting and crimping the ends of the coil element. The spine former helps shape the punched edge of the document to the coil curve, speeding up insertion for larger documents.

Vivian Sassi, of Miami Beach-based American Binding Co., adds that coil binding is becoming more and more popular every day. The ease of design and low cost satisfies efficiency worries and low budget concerns, she says. Sassi feels these points will keep coil binding an important piece of the bindery puzzle for some time to come.

"The machine for spiral wire or plastic coil that will conquer the market will be a manual punching machine with an automatic coil inserter for an all-in-one machine that will fit the customer's budget and binding needs," she predicts.


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